The original aim of Prohibition was to “reduce crime and corruption.1” The idea behind this was that by decreasing alcohol consumption, the amount of drunken crimes would go down, and decrease the crime rate. This is true to an extent as petty crimes such as vagrancy, swearing and mischief did decrease due to Prohibition2. However this is overshadowed by the fact that Prohibition created the problem of bootlegging. As liquor was no longer legally available, the public was practically forced by the government to turn to gangsters for supplies. As this industry was so vastly popular in demand, it became vastly profitable for gangsters, and as Thornton says, “criminal groups organise around a steady source of income provided by victimless crimes such as consuming alcohol.”3 This is a very useful source as Thornton is one of America’s experts on the economics of illegal drugs4, so he can inform about the way the criminal gangs avoided Prohibition, and sold alcohol illegally.
The limitations it placed on Germany's armed forces, and especially the War Guilt Clause that blamed Germany and her allies for starting the war, left many Germans feeling humiliated. For these reasons it was deeply unpopular. Economic The Republic failed to pay full reparations to France so the French invaded the Ruhr region of Germany and took control of key industries and natural resources. This worsened the economic crisis in Germany. The inflation rate rose so dramatically that the German currency lost virtually all value.
The First reason people should not shop at Wal-Mart is because it helps promote bad business tactics, which can cause American factories to shut down. To explain, numerous manufacturing companies like the vacuum company Hoover, employs a high number of Americans. Wal-Mart uses a bullying tactic to force these manufacturers to sell their items at prices that Wal-Mart sets (Goldman, & Cleeland, 2003). Hoover is just one of many companies that are affected by the tactics used by Wal-Mart (Freeman, 2003). Most manufacturers are not able to accommodate these prices.
From the start there was economic instability because of the cost of World War One and there was widespread disillusion within the German people. The public did not support the Weimar, and the administrative branch of the government, including the Judiciary, also teachers did not back it up either. Mass unemployment, damages to the infrastructure also from World War One, and the demand for reparation payments put lots of pressure on the inexperienced democracy. Not only in Germany, but all over Europe, fundamental and anti-democratic movements gained support. 2.
As well as this, an end to prohibition would eliminate the costs required to enforce it – an extra expenditure the government could not afford at this time. Economically, an end to prohibition would help strengthen the unstable situation in America: ending unproductive government spending as well as bringing new money into the system. Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment would also meet social demands brought about by the crisis. Those facing hard times wanted to drink, and wanted an end to the law to allow them to do so more easily; thus the Great Depression added to the support for social groups already campaigning for its repeal. Both the economic and social effects of the Depression make it an important reason for the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, a concept supported by historian Joseph Gusfeld.
The failure of the Weimar Republic to fix the increasingly pressing problems of Germany consequently contributed massively to their downfall, as it demonstrated their weakness. By the early 1930s the German people were resentful of their government because of the economic issues caused by the Great Depression and Wall Street Crash. For example industrial production in 1930 had dropped by 13% of what it was in 1928, and by 1932 it had dropped by 42%. This combined with the fact many Germans still had the effects of the economic problems of the early 1920s fresh in their minds caused declining support for moderate parties and therefore the Republic. This can evidently be seen from the election results as in 1928 the SPD had 29.8% of the vote and by 1932 this had dropped to 20.4%.
Therefore the failure of the league in the 1930s could be down to one or more of many factors. Firstly, the great depression contributed to the league’s failure as America traded with many nations therefore after the Wall Street crash, trade and industry worldwide was damaged. The stock market collapsed on the 29th of October 1927 which lead to the great depression which pulled many countries in to economic crisis and also lead to extremism, dictators and fascists in Japan, Italy and Germany as desperate times called for desperate measures. This therefore lead to the league’s failure because countries became more selfish such as Japan as it defied the league and consequently left the league for personal gain of China which made it even more difficult for the league to achieve its aims of world peace as Japan attacked Manchuria in 1931. The depression also made countries less likely to cooperate as they began to ignore the league following the defiant precedent made by Japan.
In fact the groups within the right such as the Freikorps and consul organisation showed an increasing amount of violence because of their lack of support on democracy, which of course created a tremendous threat to the Weimar Republic. To an extent one could argue that the economy was a major threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic in the period 1919-1923 due to the severe reparation payments. The Treaty of Versailles stipulated that Germany had to pay reparations for the damage which was caused in WW1. The poor leadership and economic problems consequently led to a German defeat. In 1921, the total amount of reparations was set at 269 billion gold marks.
Was prohibition the key factor why US society in the 1920s was so divided (24 marks) Prohibition was a key factor in the social unrest in America, It had many social impacts. Due to the unpopularity of Prohibition and people still wanting to consume alcohol even though it was now illegal, many ‘mafia’ type gangs saw an opportunity to make a lot of money by bootlegging and illegally selling alcohol and although organized crime was already around by the time Prohibition was put in place there was a rapid rise in it once Prohibition became the law of the land. Speakeasy’s were opened, these were illegal bars and clubs in which people would go to consume alcohol, these could range from tiny backrooms to large buildings with entertainment such as dancers and musical acts, The alcohol was supplied by the local gangs - It in some ways glamourized organized crime, making the idea of Gangs seem cool and a good way to make money – but gangsters would bribe the local police and government officials into ignoring the many illegal clubs in the area, They would also use fear tactics into getting the club managers and owners into paying them “protection money” this would ensure that their club was “protected” from the gangs but if they refused to pay the gangs the money they would often find their clubs blown apart or themselves being gunned down. Al Capone was one of the most famous gangster who made a profits during Prohibition, it is estimated that he made $60 million from bootlegging alone, He took control of the whole Chicago liquor industry by killing off all the competition in the area, he had a good talent for avoiding jail. The St Valentine’s Day massacre is a good example of how extreme the organized crime became, on the 14th February 1929, two rival gangs, one led by Al Capone and the other led by Bugs Moran, 7 mob associates were killed out in broad daylight
By the time the Nazi party got control of Germany completely, the other parties popularity decreased rapidly. This may not seem to show how effective terror is at first, however due to events such as ‘the night of the long knives’ (1934) many people who supported the other parties feared that not supporting the Nazi party could lead to big consequences. The Night of the Long Knives gave a massive reminder to anyone who the Nazis felt as a potential threat would be treated with severe consequences; in this case it was Ernst Rohm and the SA. Soon after this many parties dissolved themselves, most likely due to fear of the Nazi party. The Gestapo (secret police) is another example of how terror was effective.